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Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
Fort Jackson GIs Win Victory!!!
At every crucial turning point in the case of the Fort Jackson Eight, the brass has been forced to back down. The latest retreat on the part of the brass has been to drop the Court Martial charges and issue Undesirable Discharges to the Eight, rather than submit to having the frame–ups exposed at a public trial. These dis charges will be fought until they are changed to Honorable; until that time the defense of the Ft. Jackson Eight will continue.
The history of the Ft. Jackson Eight offers many valuable lessons to all GIs who are a gainst the war in Vietnam and for the constitutional right of a free speech. In short the case of the Ft. Jackson GIs should serve as a model for what can and should happen on every military installation in the Armed Forces.
From the start the troops at Ft. Jackson have been organized. Their organization, the GIs. United Against the War, is the kind of organization that gives ulcers to generals and nightmares to company commanders. It has as its purpose to gain the right of every GI to freely discuss the war. However, the brass thinks differently about this constitutional right, thereby creating the need for an organization like GIs United.
The GIs at Ft. Jackson have their own paper, Short Times. The Short Times, like Dull Brass and dozens of similar GI newspapers, tells the GIs' side of things. Everyone knows whose side the Army Times or the Stars and Stripes tells, the guys at Jackson realize that they can't depend on these papers to tell the truth about their case. Also, a GI news paper keeps guys inf ormed about what's going on in other parts of the post.
Another important aspect of the Ft. Jackson GIs United is the way they kept their demands simple, clear and reasonable. This is essential if you want your cause to grow. `When a long list of purposes or demands is raised it only confuses and turns guys off. All the statements of the Ft. Jackson GIs United have been formulated to always expose the Army as the one trying to deny rights. Rash statements only provide the brass with ammunition it can use to crush a movement before it begins. The lesson is never to say or write anything that you cannot defend in court.
The GIs United never hesitated in using civilian support, whenever and wherever needed. Afterall the Pentagon never refused aid from Dow Chemical just because they're civilians.
Finally the Ft. Jackson Eight utilized the Ultimate Weapon that GIs have, publicity. Without publicity there is no way the story of the GI struggle can reach civilians and other GIs. Publicity is especially important in defending yourself against the vicious attacks of the brass. The value of publicity is shown by the successful Ft. Jackson defense. The Army would have liked nothing better than to take the Eight into a closet and quietly give them the shaft; however the GIs United and their civilian sympathizers did not let this happen.
As long as the war continues there will be more and more cases of GIs against the war, only instead of Ft. Jackson 8's there will be 80's and 800's until the last American serviceman is back home safe.
Dull Brass , vol. 1, no. 2